Four Things We Learned From England v Wales

As another England side squeezes its way through another couple of qualifications, there’s always something useful to be gleaned from examining their results and performances for future reference. Here are four things we learned from the England v Wales game.

Four Things We Learned From England v Wales

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Andy

September 7th, 2011

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As another England side squeezes its way through another couple of qualifications, there’s always something useful to be gleaned from examining their results and performances for future reference. Here are four things we learned from the England v Wales game.

England need to step up their game, no matter who they’re playing.

Not so much a new lesson taught, as it is a painful reminder of previous underwhelming displays, but any given England side would benefit greatly from shedding all preconceptions of their opposition.

Such naivety cost them a full four points at last summer’s World Cup; points which, had they taken a more realistic approach to each game, wouldn’t have culminated in such a humbling second-round defeat, as winning the group meant they would have avoided Germany. Though, to be fair…

Wales are a much-improved side.

And last night they showed it; after dominating for long periods of the game, even the most staunch England supporter would admit that Wales deserved at least a draw from the game; a point they could have taken were it not for the late lapse in concentration by Robert Earnshaw, who hooked a ‘gimme’ shot over the bar. Their defeat to England at the Millenium Stadium proved something of an incentive to even the score at Wembley, and off the back of their victory against Montenegro it seemed achievable. There’s still a way to go for this Wales team under Gary Speed, but early signs are very promising.

In fact, Wales were so impressive, they might well be a good bet at 5/2 in their game against Bulgaria on the 11th September.

Fabio Capello should have left sooner.

Though they’re still unbeaten in Qualifying Group G, getting there is only half the battle – as Capello discovered during the World Cup. A year ago, he signalled that he was to leave the post of England manager after next summer’s tournament – a move that both baffled the boffins and riled the rumour-mongers in one fell swoop.

From a professional standpoint, it would’ve made sense to step down immediately and allow a new manager to gel with his new team with optimum time for preparation. There’s no denying that he’ll be keen to bring his first trophy as a national manager back to the retirement home – but with all the added pressure the decision to stay on brings, only time will tell if it was the right thing to do.

And finally…

Wayne Rooney’s hair is ridiculous.

Enough said.

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